BBC World News 2012-11-21

BBC News with Nick Kelly

After a day of speculation about an imminent ceasefire, sporadic violence has continued on the Gaza Strip into the night. Earlier several Palestinian sources said a truce between Hamas and Israel would be announced tonight, but Israel said it hasn't finalized a deal and some Palestinian and Egyptian officials indicated that while an agreement was close it wasn't yet fully agreed. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev has told the BBC that until a diplomatic solution is achieved its military operation in Gaza will continue. At least 20 Palestinians are reported to have been killed today in Gaza as Israeli rocket strikes intensified. Jon Donnison is in Gaza.

Despite the growing clamour of voices saying a ceasefire is imminent. The noise in Gaza today continues to be that of war. There have been scores more Israeli air strikes and the death toll is rising fast among those killed today, two brothers, aged two and four, as well as their parents, also two journalists from a Hamas-linked television channel. And Hamas continues to fire rockets. This one, it says, was aimed again at Jerusalem. It fell short, nobody was hurt.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has meanwhile arrived in Israel for talks on the way forward.

Rebels in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo have seized the regional capital Goma. Fighters from the M23 rebel group entered the city with little resistance from the Congolese army or United Nations peacekeepers. Gabriel Gatehouse is in Goma.

For nearly two decades, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been in a state of almost permanent conflict. The United Nations' mission here is the largest peacekeeping force anywhere in the world, and yet, Goma fell today to just few hundred men. The UN and the Congolese government have accused Rwanda of supporting the rebels. Rwanda denies the accusation. But this mineral-rich part of eastern Congo now once again threatens to pull neighbouring countries into a wider African war.

Efforts to allow women to become bishops in the church of England have been defeated. The proposal failed by a few votes to get the required two thirds' backing among lay members of the general synod that church's governing body. Bishops in clergy backed the plan by a clear margin. Supporters have called the vote disastrous and damaging. The Reverend Rose Hudson Wilkin says she's disappointed by the result.

I believe passionately that women should be in leadership within the House of Bishops, and so I think it is a sadness today for the church. When I came out and felt the rain, I thought showers of blessing, but actually no, tears from God, tears at the decision we've just made.

Opponents say there is no scriptural backing for women bishops although many other Protestant churches already consecrate them.

World News from the BBC

United Nations says there has been a dramatic fall in the rates of HIV infections in many countries while more people are receiving treatment than ever before. The UNA's programme called this a historical slowing down of the epidemic. The most marked changes have been in the worst affected African countries. In Malawi and Botswana infection rates have fallen by more than 70%.

Four men have been charged in California with plotting to kill Americans and destroy oversea's US targets. One of the four is a former member of the United States air force. David Willis reports.

The FBI says a former US air force man serving in Afghanistan helped introduce the other three men to the doctrine of a former al-Q leader. Sohier Omar Kabia, a US citizen, who was born in Afghanistan, is alleged to have authored accommodation and meetings with terrorists in Skype conversations with the others, one of whom was born in Mexico, another in the Philippines and the third is a US citizen. Together, the FBI says, the group was planning to engage in what it calls a violence Jihad which would have included bombing military bases and government facilities in both Yemen and Afghanistan.

A strike called by two of Argentine's biggest unions has paralyzed much of Buenos Aires and other cities. Most trains and subway lines were closed. Flights were cancelled  and the streets in Buenos Aires remained empty as roadblocks were set up at access routes to the capital.

And a  Greek man has been arrested on suspicion of stealing nine million personal data files in a mass breach of private information. Police said the 35-year-old was found of taken(taking) data files containing Greek tax numbers, vehicle license , plate numbers and home addresses. Some of the files may have been duplicates. The police are now trying to work out how the data found after they raided the man's home, came to be in his possession and whether he intended to sell it.

BBC News.